Sunday, November 10, 2013

Counting On (math strategy) and a freebie.

In my room, we have been spending a lot of time learning and practicing the count on strategy.  Most of my Littles can do this, but I still have a few that struggle with holding on to the larger number and counting on.  They are counting all.  Here's something that we are doing to practice this skill:
The big number cards came with my Math Expressions curriculum and they have the number on one side and the dots on the back that correspond.  I just used our whiteboards for the plus and equal signs. We start out by telling an addition story problems.  Then 4 students create the equation with the cards.  My Littles love to be the "one" chosen to solve the equation.  They must:

We also have been using this little game in our math intervention time this week.  It's called Odd and Even Sum Snakes.  One partner has even numbers and the other has odd numbers.  They take turns rolling 2 dice or 1 die and 1 number cube and add them.  When they use the number cube it is easy for them to practice counting on :)  Anywho, the idea of this game is to X-tinguish all your snakes with X's  :)  I laminate my boards and the Littles use dry erase markers.  Grab you free copy here!

And Lastly, here is our finished schema chart about pumpkins.  After reading several informational texts about pumpkins, we added our new schema in the form of leaves.  The Littles seemed most impressed that there are in fact BLUE pumpkins.  They thought that was super cool.

Have a blessed week,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Currently

It's November!  That means it's time for a new Currently Linky party hosted by Farley.

Oh' boy fourth grade
Here's my Currently:

Listening:  The wind has been blowing like crazy all day!  I am so thankful that we haven't lost power.  But, I live in western WA and it is that time of year that this (and rain) happens a lot.  One of my facebook friends put it best:  Goodbye sunshine.  See you on July 5th. 

Loving:  I love TV.  My newest favorite is the show The Blacklist on NBC.  James Spadder plays bad oh so good!  He is a criminal mastermind that is working with the FBI to catch the worst of the worst criminals. 

Thinking:  My sweet hubby's birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year.  I don't know what I will get him.  Ideas?
Wanting:  Next week's lesson plans explanation need :) 
Needing:  Cooking breakfast on Saturday morning is a tradition in our house.  I don't do it any other day unless it's a holiday or my parents are visiting.  I also cooked lunch too.  Now, my kitchen needs to be tidied up.  I hate doing the dishes.  My hubby usually does them if I cook, but poor thing had to work this afternoon.  I'll get to it in a bit....

A Yummy Pin:  Chocolate Gravy...I know some of you might be thinking WHAT?!?!  I grew up in MS and I love chocolate gravy.  I love it on biscuits or dunking a doughnut into it.  It is really delicious!  This pin says that you could eat it with eggs...I wouldn't suggest it.  That sounds gross!  But, it is a great accompaniment to a wonderful carb of your choice.  Here's the link to the pin :)
If you grew up in the south you (should) know about Chocolate Gravy. All it is: 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, 3 Tbsp flour, 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, 4 Tbsp sugar, 1 cup milk, 1-1/2 tsp vanilla. Drizzle this velvety, sweet sauce over a hot buttered biscuit, angel food or pound cake or over a bowl of strawberries. Delicious!
Have a blessed night and enjoy falling back :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Classroom photos, bats, pumpkins, oh my!

Wowzers!  I dropped off the blogging train....hard!  I have been a faithful follower of my favorite blogs, but I have been lacking in the "want to write" department.

My year is getting better with my class.  I love them but they exhaust me :)  As mentioned in my last blog, my year has gotten off to a rocky start.  I am slowly finding my groove with my challenging Little this year.  PTSD, RAD and possible Asperber' joke folks!  But, we are hanging in there and riding the daily rollercoaster that changes directions...often!

I never showed any classroom photos this year so I am going to start with a few of those and then I will show some of our newer projects that we have been hard at work doing.

 And my favorite small group area :)  That tikki bar is the best $30 garage sale find ever!

Last week, we went batty.  The Littles loved adding to their schema and learning about the mysterious creatures.  We spent a lot of time using the book Stellaluna.  We used it to make predictions, sequence, and practice writing about story elements.  Here we wrote about the beginning, middle and end of the story.  I saw this on another blog and for the life of me I can't remember which one.

Here's our display outside the classroom.  It has our sequenced Stellaluna bats, our KWL chart and our bat facts writing. 

This week, we are about all things pumpkin!  Here are our Crazy Pumpkins .  The Littles thought it was hilarious that I kept telling them that their pumpkins were crazy as they were making them. 

Our Pumpkin Schema Chart:

We are also focusing on schema this week.  Here is our class chart that we are adding to each day this week about our schema.

I sure hope your Halloween week is going great so far.  I am feeling so blessed that our district planned a teacher workshop day on Friday....genius! 

Lastly, here's my favorite guy cheesing it up like usual.  I am so thankful for him!!!!

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rough Start to School

Wow...I didn't mean to be gone from my blog for this long!  I have been reading, but writing has been something that I am not motivated to do.  To be honest, I have been a little depressed with the start of this school year.  I keep reading about how everyone LOVES their classes and well...I am having a hard time.

This year I have 24 Littles.  Well, so far at least I have 24 Littles.  My school population has increased over 100 since last year and there are some talks of splits and other classes being considered to help our overload status.  I am not in overload at 24.  When #25 comes along, then I will be up for some paraeducator support. 

One of my Littles has some extreme issues.  The kind that require a one on one to help with immediate behavior intervention.  I have known that I was that lucky teacher since the end of last year.  I thought about switching schools if that lets you know the severity of what was to unfold this year!  In the end, I came to a peace that I was supposed to do this.  It was a supernatural, Jesus inspired peace because let me tell you, I WOULD NEVER HAVE CHOSEN it. 

Loud and aggressive behavior are his norm and it makes the other Littles (and me) nervous.  Lots of labels can be suggested for this behavior and believe me, I ache that someone has to live like that! 

Last Friday was our second day of school and I left really questioning my career, my influence, my world.  Saturday arrived and I slept almost all day.  I have NEVER felt so defeated and unsure of myself.  Thankfully, I have an AMAZING husband!  He let me shout and vent and be a little ridiculous.  Slowly over last weekend, I knew that I was focusing on 1 and neglecting to realize that I have 23 other Littles that need me too!  I am not saying that I feel the need to neglect that 1, but I need to have a perspective that includes everyone! 

So, by Tuesday, I start feeling like my normal self again and ready to inspire a younger generation.  Tuesday was a great day.  Wednesday was pretty good too.  I even felt like going to community group that night.  I am a part of a ladies group and we meet each Wednesday evening to pray, encourage and dig deeper into what our pastor shares each Sunday.  I left feeling loved.

Now I don't know about you but I have conversations with myself in the shower.  Sometimes I pretend to be bold and tell someone how I am *really* feeling.  Sometimes, I hash out past conversations and sometimes I try to pump myself up for the day.  I know I am weird :)  Well, Thursday morning, I was trying to realistically look at how I handle my classroom and the thought occurred to me:  "I am his teacher.  I don't have to love him."  For the whole morning, I just kept telling myself this and I actually thought I had had a revelation about how my year would be survived.

I got into my car that morning and began my short commute to work.  I was feeling so proud of my "revelation" and had a serious case of "pat yourself on the back for being so smart!"  Then, I flipped my radio on.  In an instant, God reminded me of HIM.  HIS MISSION.  HIS HEARTBEAT.  This song was playing:

I couldn't help but be completely awed by God' timing.  He spoke so clearly that morning.  I thought I had figured out a plan for survival...for myself.  If I removed my vulnerable emotions, I might make it.  I had completely forgotten that without LOVE, everything I do is NOTHING!  The world is filled with sin and we are called to LOVE and to share His LOVE through it all!  That means through.  IT. ALL! 

I know that my year will be challenging and I will learn a lot about myself.  I hope through it all I am a living example of His love. 

Have a blessed day,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back To School TPT Sale 2013

I can hardly believe that the beginning of school is here.  My Littles don't officially come until the 26th so I have a little more time to  go to meetings get my room ready.  Pictures to come soon :) 

I have only been to my classroom 2 times.  With a late scheduled trip south to visit my sweet folks and the building being closed for summer cleaning, I haven't had the opportunities!  When I walked in on Thursday, I thought I would see the typical classroom in August.  You know, the one that I have seen for the past 7 years....OH NO...the summer cleaning crew had everything piled at the front of the classroom.  PILED! More on my classroom progress later...

In happy news, TPT finally announced their Back To School Sale!  I am also offering 20% off.  That means you can save up to 28% by entering the promo code:  BTS13  

Here are a couple of my favorites:

My Desk Awards packet:

My CVC Practice Activities packet:

My Interactive Attendance File (16 different boards for smartboards)~ Awesome way to take attendance each day!

To visit my store click the button below!

Have a BLESSED day and have fun shopping...I know I will :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Currently

August...Yikes!  I am linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy, it's Fourth Grade for her monthly linky party.

I have my TV tuned to the local Christian Radio station.  I love doing that during the day while I work on stuff.  Matt Maher's "Lord, I Need You" is on.  I love that song and the sweet reminder of my need for total dependence on my Savior!  Don't even get me started about Audrey Assad who helps him out in this song.  She is phenomenal in her own right too! 

I am traveling soon to visit my sweet momma and daddy in Mississippi.  My hubby and I try to visit during the summer each year.  We would love to visit more often, but being a teacher and church planter are financially challenging sometimes.  Plus, my sweet hubby works at Target to supplement our income.  He is the student pastor at our church, but doesn't receive a salary.  Anywho, we are super stoked to see our family and friends (and eat all that yummy southern food that you just can't get in the Pacific Northwest!). 

I am nervous about this next group of Littles.  One Little has some serious needs that I have never had to deal with as a teacher before.  Pray that I will be a good fit for him and that I will know how to meet his needs!

I want this necklace:  (click pic for etsy store :)
Sterling silver sideways cross necklace

I want to get into my classroom and WORK, but we aren't allowed back just yet!  The Littles don't come back until the end of August.  I know I still have time, but goodness gracious I want to get in there!  Right now, I am trying to do all the stuff I need to do at home.

B2S must haves
1.  New First Day Outfit ~ My school colors are black and red.  Traditionally, the staff at my school try to wear those colors the first day.  Gotta get busy looking :)

2.  New teacher bag ~  I want either a new 31 bag or Vera Bradley.  I haven't made my mind up just yet. 

3.  I love this.  I want this.  I need this.

This is by Hope King over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans.  It's on my wishlist :)

Hop over to Farley's blog if you want to read more or link up!

Oh' boy fourth grade

Have a BLESSED day,

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CVC Practice Activites (freebie)

I love summer!  The freedom it affords can't be beat.  But, I have fallen into some habits that are going to be hard to give up when school starts.  Like:

1.  Staying up late and sleeping past 8 a.m.
2.  Drinking coffee in the afternoon.  (This probably contributes to the 1st one)
3.  Lunch with friends at a real restaurant.
4.  Matinee movies with the hubby.
5.  Pajamas till I feel like it :)

I am already starting to miss these simple pleasures.  I have to keep telling myself that I still have time.  Me = worrier for no reason!  God and I are working on that one :)

I updated my CVC Practice Activities Packet tonight.  It now includes a card game for partners or small groups and 2 CVC picture sorting worksheets.  One of the sorting sheets is free in the download on TPT.  So, head HERE and scoop it up :)

This one below is free!


Have a BLESSED day,

Friday, July 26, 2013


Thanks for the comments!  I am so happy to be able to share my Desk Awards with:
Roxanne S.
Josie F.

For those that are still interested, you can check them out HERE.

I also wanted to share a few of my pinterest inspired projects from the summer.  They are not school related but I thought you might still enjoy seeing them.  If not, click the back button now :)

I hope the remainder of your Friday is AWESOME friends!  I will leave with these wise words:
I love this and feel this way about the blogging community (as well as my colleagues)! 
Have a BLESSED day,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Behavior Managment~ Desk Awards

I have had good intentions to blog more this summer, but summer has been too distracting!  The hubs and I just returned from vacation on the Oregon coast.  It was BEAUTIFUL, but so different than the beach trips from my southern past.  The Oregon beaches are cool and windy!  I have never been to the beach in the summer and had to wear a hoodie, but I did this time!  But again, it was gorgeous!  Heck, even driving there was beautiful.  Massive evergreens shadowing the road with intermittent glimpses of the Pacific--AMAZING! 

Here's the hoodied hubs after finding supper  :)

Now, it's back to reality.  I can't believe that we are nearing the end of July!  My Littles don't come back until the very end of August, but STILL!  I still have lots of projects on my summer to-do list left.  Hopefully, I will showing off some pinterest inspired projects soon! 

For now, I will leave you with one thing I have finished, my latest TPT packet!  It's a great little positive behavior motivator that I have used in my classroom for the past 2 years.  I refer to them as desk awards. 

  After printing and laminating the awards, you need to find someway that your Littles can display them proudly on their desk.  I picked up some $1 Target photo clips last summer, but you could use 2 bulldog binder clips or clunky paper clips.  I purchased my gem clips last week at the Target dollar spot.  Here's what they look like close up.: 


 To keep things refreshing for the Littles, this packet also has seasonal/holiday desk awards to mix in when appropriate.  For kicks and giggles, I also made a few thematic desk awards too!  There are 2 for each season/holiday/theme represented and they repeat the same 2 behaviors:  "I am an AWESOME role model" and "I am a responsible learner."  These behaviors are not specific and will allow you to define those with your students depending on classroom needs.

What I love about this is that it can fit with any existing behavior management program that you are already using.  I use a clip chart, but I love bringing these out to mix things up.  This also allows me to zero in on a specific behavior that we need to work on.  Most of the time, I tell my Littles that I would like to hand out the desk award for _______ and that I am looking for someone that can do it.  This allows me to gently remind about good behavior and classroom expectations but not in a nagging way.  Anywho, if you want to check it out, click HERE!  I would love to give the 1st 3 people that comment this resource as a freebie :)

Have a BLESSED day,